Comprent onward and upward. Athens Georgia based Comprent Motor Sport travel north of the boarder this week to Canada's world famous Mosport circuit, Bowmanville, Ontario for the American Le Mans Series Mobil 1 Grand...
Comprent onward and upward.
Athens Georgia based Comprent Motor Sport travel north of the boarder this week to Canada's world famous Mosport circuit, Bowmanville, Ontario for the American Le Mans Series Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport, August 27-30.
Under the guidance of owner Kevin Kloepfer the reigning IMSA Lites 1 Team Champions will field three Élan DP-02s for Americans Jonathan Gore and Charlie Shears and Australian Tom Drewer to compete in Rounds 11 & 12 of the 2009 IMSA Lites Championship presented by Frisby Performance Tire.
It was at Mosport last year that the team began to wrap up both the 2008 Drivers' and Teams' Championships. With Jonathan Goring at the wheel, Comprent dominated the weekend taking pole position, both race wins and setting a new track lap record.
This year Comprent are looking to Canada to provide the first win of the season while all three drivers, Jonathan, Charlie and Tom are looking to make Comprent's first their own. Each has shown they have the pace to take that top step of the podium at Mosport.
Australian Tom Drewer knows what it takes to win at Mosport. Last year Tom won his first ever race at the circuit, and indeed in Canada, in the Lites 2 class. After going on to claim the 2008 IMSA Lites 2 Championship this year he has made the step up to Lites 1.
Drewer quickly came to grips with the Lites 1 car and in New Jersey qualified on pole position for Race 2 with the fastest lap of the weekend. He dominated the first half of the race and was unlucky to finish just of the podium. Tom headed into the last race weekend at Road America equal fifth in the championship. However an incorrectly issued black flag effectively ruined both races and he now sits seventh in points.
"I won my first ever race in Canada last year, and this year I looking for my first win in Lites 1. I have put all the drama and devastation of Road America behind me and I'm focused forward. With my new sponsor Ubantu Resort, I'm determined to hold a trophy up high this weekend. The atmosphere is always amazing at Mosport and the track is as ballsy as they come. I can't wait."
Teammate Jonathan Gore is hoping to continue his streak of solid performances. Jonathan is leading the team's podium count this year with three to his name. He placed third at Miller Motorsports Park Utah, Lime Rock Connecticut and Road America Wisconsin.
At Lime Rock Gore took the fastest lap of Race 1 and pole position for Race 2 before a coming together with a lapped car finished his race. At the last round, Race 2 at Road America, Gore again leaped to the lead in Turn 1 before slipping back. He's hoping to stay up the front in Canada.
"I've really stepped up this year, driving for Comprent Motor Sport. From Utah I have been up the front. Road America is a very fast, flowing circuit. I showed good pace there, and showed yet again I can run up the front. Mosport is similar and I expect the Foretravel Motorcoach car to continue to be right up there."
Charlie Shears was one step away from a win at Lime Rock, taking Comprent's only second position for the year in Round 8. Charlie looked like he would equal that performance in Round 10 at Road America. Running strong up the pointy end of the field, and on for a certain podium position, an axle broke on the US Builders car.
Last year Charlie Shears finished strongly at Mosport. In Race 1 he finished just off the podium in fourth position. This year Charlie is looking to finish on it.
"After missing a couple of rounds the Championship I was ecstatic to be back up the front on my return at Lime Rock. I couldn't believe it when the axle broke at Road America. That was complete disaster, but just something you can't prepare for. I ran strongly in Canada last year and I know Kenny and the Comprent boys will again give me a car capable of winning. I know Jonathan and Tom want Comprent's first win, but they're going to have it tough because I want it too."
Charlie Sears, Jonathan Gore and Tom Drewer will first head out on the 2.5mile, 10 corner Mosport circuit on Thursday morning for the first of two test sessions. Official practice gets underway Friday. Qualifying will be held on Saturday along with Round 11 at 6.35pm. Round 12 will be held directly before the American Le Mans Series Race at 1:30pm on Sunday, August 30.
Jonathan Gore, aged 25, looks set to make 2009 his year after his strong finish in 2008. Jonathan claimed 2nd at the Petit Le Mans race and finished 5th place on the Championship ladder in only his first season of IMSA Lites 1. He hopes with his move to Comprent this year comes the wins he's after.
The former Auburn student is no stranger to the winner's podium. Jonathan was a regular front-runner in the 2006 Skip Barber National Series and in 2005 was runner up in the Skip Barber Mid Western Regional Series 2005. His ties to Skip Barber remain strong. Jonathan is currently an instructor for the famous driving school.
Charlie Shears joins Comprent Motor Sports after finishing 6th in the 2008 IMSA Lites Championship, an impressive feat given a series of mechanical failures that caused the Masters title to slip from his grasp. His podium finish at Lime Rock in 2008 shows his true talents though and Charlie is set to return to his winning form, and be serious Championship contender, in his quest to take the Masters title this year.
Charlie started racing motor-cross at the age of 12, in 1973 and continued until he was 18 years old. In 1998 he began racing cars in the SCCA's SRF series and became consecutive Southwest Division Champion in 2005 and 2006. 2006 also saw Charlie run selected Lites 3 races and in 2007 Charlie made the progression to Lites 1. When Charlie isn't racing cars he attends to his Real Estate Development company as well as his young family.
Tom Drewer, aged 23, is an up and coming Australian driver who in his first year of North American competition dominated IMSA Lites 2 in 2008, taking the Championship with 11 pole positions, 10 wins, setting 5 lap records, all on unfamiliar circuits. This gave Tom back-to-back Championships across the Pacific after he took the Australian Thundersports Sports Car Championship for West Race Cars in 2007.
Tom's driving duties were split in 2007 with seats in both the Fujitsu V8 and V8 Giant Supercar Series, the feeder categories to Australia's premier motor racing series, V8 Supercars. Tom made his transition to cars in 2002, driving Formula Vees and winning the FVASA Drivers' Championship, after a stellar karting career beginning at age 7 and once backed by triple World Champion Nikki Lauda's airline, Lauda-Air.
Australia's AutoAction magazine has named Tom 'Best Overseas Rookie' in their annual awards while prestigious Wheels magazine has put Tom in their 'Hot Half Dozen Watch List' for 2009. Given his pace amongst the Lites 1's last year including a 2nd overall in Utah, Comprent also think he's one to watch this year as he tries for their second consecutive Lites 1 Championship.
Comprent Motor Sports, the legendary Athens, GA based team founded by Kevin Kloepfer is a full service racing team with over 20 years of experience.
Comprent has enjoyed countless success in National and Pro-Level open- wheel and sports-car categories including Formula Atlantic, IMSA Lites, Star Mazda, and the Camel Lites GTP Series competing at many of the biggest races throughout America and Canada including the Daytona 24 Hour.
Comprent is the reigning IMSA Lites 1 Team and Drivers' Champions. These wins add to their 2006 BOSS Historic Formula Championship (IndyCar), 2005 SCCA Sports 2000 National Championship and 1990 SCCA Formula Atlantic National Championship.
From its extensive facilities in North East Georgia, Comprent's in-house technicians and engineers specialise in preparation, fabrication, machining, transmissions, composites, data acquisition, and driver coaching.
Comprent is Élan Motorsport Technologies' IMSA Lites customer service representative, the official USA distributor of Elite Racing Transmissions, and agents for Pi Research systems and Bald Spot Sports seat kits. Tifosi is the official eyewear of Comprent Motor Sports.
IMSA Lites Presented by Frisby Performance Tire is the feeder category to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), the premier prototype and GT endurance racing series in the world. Like the ALMS, IMSA Lites features three distinct classes of prototypes from global race-car constructors Élan Motorsport Technologies, West Race Cars and Van Diemen.
The series offers drivers from around the world the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of ALMS team bosses in a multi-class racing environment at famous and historic racing venues such as Sebring, Road America, Road Atlanta, Mosport and Laguna Seca. Previous Lites 1 Champions Adam Pecorari and Gerardo Bonilla have gone on to drive in factory Le Mans Series Prototypes.
The Panoz Élan DP-02 Prototype is the official chassis of Lites 1. Built by Élan Motorsports Technologies it is a high-tech purpose-built sports car designed to develop advanced drivers with aspirations of graduating to the next level of professional racing.
The DP-02 features an FIA certified carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, 6- speed sequential 'no-lift shift' Hewland gearbox, tunnel-floor, and is powered by a 2.3 Litre, 4-cylinder Mazda MP2 racing engine supplied by Élan Power Products.
Top speed of an Élan DP-02 at most North American circuits is 170 mph, while their average speed is generally well over 110 mph, resulting in Lap times equally as fast or faster than ALMS GT2 cars and Star Mazda.